Persistent rain fails to dampen spirits at Hagan’s Croft’s Working Hunter League

ABOVE: Antoinette Milligan, and King’s Appraisal. (FW42-544NN)

THE weather forecast for Saturday was rain and true to form this was the case, however, no one expected it to be quite as heavy and persistent throughout the day.

The morning started out with the pony classes and it was very refreshing to see competitors smile throughout their jumping and showing phases, even though they were getting completely soaked through. All competitors rode clear in their jumping phase throughout the 60cm to 1m classes, therefore it was down to the ponies confirmation and the riders show performance to separate the placings on the day.

ABOVE: Tara Murphy and Impish. (FW42-546NN)

However for judge Fiona Young, two competitors stood out overall within the championship show and pony champion was awarded to Susie Thompson on Dun Surprise and pony reserve champion went to Kaitlyn Kearns on Tubbervale Jacob. The pair were delighted to received these coveted rosettes especially in the testing weather conditions.

Once again Hagan’s Croft was delighted to welcome competitors from as far away as Dublin to compete within their league. The 80cm to 1m classes proved popular and highly competitive due to them being qualifiers for the Northern Ireland Festival at Cavan. With the top four placings in each of these classes gaining their qualification for this event in 2019. A big congratulations to all!

The day came to a close with the horse championship show class, where the top two placings throughout all classes on the day are eligible. This class is judged solely on a ridden show where horses and riders show off their horse’s paces as instructed by the judge.

With such a high standard of horse and rider, judge Fiona J Young admittedly found it very hard to decipher who was going to be awarded the overall horse champion and reserve champion. Nevertheless out of the line up of six horses it was the two dark bay beauties who were out on top – Antoinette Milligan on King’s Appraisal Champion and Tara Murphy on Impish Reserve Champion. Many congratulations!

Hagan’s Croft would like to thank everyone who supported the fourth leg of their five-week league especially with the testing weather conditions and hope everyone has dried out after being soaked through.

This League is made possible by the following people’s help: Course designer – Toni Donnelly, Judge – Fiona Young, Scribe – Jenny, Steward – Carol.

Thank you to league sponsors The Ainseed Lounge, The Spoilt Horse Company and Black Horse Photography forcovering the event.

This league runs every Saturday until October 20 and is open to everyone especially those wanting to qualify for the NI Festival at Cavan. Please note there is an Early Bird pre-entry fee of £12 per class, with an On the Day entry fee of £15 per class (on the day, competitors entering two or more classes will receive £2 discount). Pre-entries close on the Thursday at 12 noon prior to Saturday’s event. Blackboard order will apply on the day.

To qualify for the final in week five, each horse/pony and rider combination must compete in three out of the five weeks and within the same class. Competitors must compete in the final to be eligible for league placings, prizes and the overall league horse and pony Working Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion. Placings will be based on a points system. The final is open to everyone with a separate prize giving taking place for competitors on the day and league competitors.

ABOVE: Clare Orr competing on Mount Arnie. (FW42-545NN)

o To find out more about the league, please contact Gillian on 07849 106453 or go to the website:


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